call 904-993-3433 to schedule a PERC TEST

Traditional septic systems only work if the soil in the leach field area is sufficiently permeable that it can readily absorb the liquid effluent flowing into it. Otherwise, untreated effluent may back up and pool on the ground surface.

Also, there must be at least a few feet of good soil from the bottom of the perforated leach pipes to the rock or impervious hardpan below, or to the water table. Much of the treatment takes place in this soil layer.

Less commonly, a site can fail because the soil is too permeable, allowing the effluent to reach the groundwater before it is fully treated. Very steep slopes are also unsuitable for a conventional leach field.

The specific standards vary from town to town, but any of these characteristics can prohibit the use of a standard gravity-fed septic system. In some cases, a more expensive alternatively septic system, may be allowed. To determine is a building site is suitable for a septic system, a percolation test (typically called a “perc test’ or “perk test”) is required.

call 904-993-3433 to schedule a PERC TEST


On rural sites without municipal sewage systems, a failed perc test means that no house can be built – which is why you should make any offer to purchase land contingent on the site passing the soil and perc tests. As prime building sites become increasingly scarce (or prohibitively expensive) in many parts of the country, rural sites that will not pass a percolation or perc test are increasingly common.

In general, soils with high sand and gravel content drain the best and soils with a high clay content or solid rock are the worst. Most soils fall somewhere in the middle with a mix of course sand and gravel particles, small silt particles, and miniscule clay particles – the smallest.

call 904-993-3433 to schedule a PERC TEST